Spellslinger is the first book in a six book fantasy series. The setting is a little bit of a mash-up between the Wild West and something that feels like the middle east. The main character is Kellen, the son in a powerful magician’s house, who is sadly lacking in magical powers and racing against the clock to find a way to ignite the small bit of magic within himself. There is some playful and enjoyable humor in this book which is oddly juxtaposed against a couple of extremely painful scenes of betrayal and harm. Also, let’s just say for the record, that the squirrel-cat is, well, awesome.
This is a coming-of-age fantasy story that although not written specifically for a YA audience, would certainly be a great fit for that demographic because of the age of the characters and the struggles that they face.
Profanity/Language: 33 mild obscenities; 1 religious profanity; 11 derogatory names; 1 scatological word; 3 anatomical terms.
Violence/Gore: Magical duel resulting in pain and severe injury; posturing/verbal threats and stand-off; duel scene with tackling, struggle, magic, metal cords, and blood; character is tied up; sick animal is used for nefarious purposes in a magic spell intended to harm; animal rips out a sick puppy’s throat; threat to torture and kill an animal; extended, disturbing scene in which an animal is repeatedly tortured with magic spells; fight scene with kicking punching, hitting with rocks–two individuals in particular beating another individual, with mention of blood; extended battle scene with some animals resulting in injuries; instructions shouted “kill everyone”; magical procedure which is essential torture, involving nails and inflicted by a parent on a child; animal bites another; fight using biting, rocks, tripping etc. to free someone who was kidnapped; character killed with knife, lightning, snapped neck; extended scene in which characters try to burn other characters to death, death of two; fight with use of magic, entrails of a horse; extended emotionally upsetting scene of essentially genocide of a race of animals by fire/magic.
Sex/Nudity: Characters thinks about/wants to kiss another character; male and female characters embrace (mostly platonic); innuendo; hug; male and female characters kiss.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death, discrimination, prejudice, parent causing harm to their child, genocide.
Adult characters smoke; adult characters drink; characters are drugged; “lightning weed” ingested to enhance abilities.